The Battle of the Bulge was the deadliest and most desperate battle of World War II. Among the dead were the Wereth 11. The group was comprised of eleven black soldiers from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, an African-American Battalion from the United States. The eleven soldiers were separated from their battalion during the first few days of the Battle of the Bulge. They found shelter in Wereth, Belgium, where a farmer offered to shelter them. But, they were discovered by German soldiers after a sympathizer gave away their location. Even though the eleven men surrendered to the Germans, they were taken to a nearby field where they were tortured and then murdered.
Today, the U.S. Wereth Memorial Project has raised money to create a permanent memorial that would honor the memories of all black G.I.s and the segregated units that fought in Europe during World War II. The memorial stands today in Wereth, Belgium and is currently the only monument in Europe that honors these men.
The memorial was dedicated on May 23, 2004. The attendees walked from the farmer’s house to the field where they eleven soldiers were killed, retracing their steps to where the memorial stands. The memorial is comprised of the center stone (pictured), which has the eleven soldiers’ names, and four plaques (in four different languages) that read:
On 17 Dec, 1944
11 African-American Soldiers
Of the 333rd FAB
Were captured and massacred
Here by the SS.
This site is dedicated
To all black soldiers of WWII.
The Wereth Eleven, and all African-American soldiers that fought in World War II, helped lead the United States Armed Forces into becoming more integrated and the acceptance of all soldiers regardless of race.